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Obituaries

Gary Landon Corley

Gary Landon Corley, 85, passed from this life on November 7, 2021, at Courtyard Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in El Dorado, Arkansas. Gary was born to Ola Mae Fincher Corley and W. E. “Ed” Corley in Louann, Arkansas on August 23, 1936. He grew up in the oil fields of South Arkansas and now has retired to the Beulah Land Oil Field where he is having a reunion with members of his family, friends, and colleagues.

Gary was born into an oil field family in South Arkansas. Being the fifth of nine children afforded Gary a unique place to learn from those older, as well as an opportunity to teach those who were younger. Family was a big part of Gary’s life, and this importance and love of family began as a child and remained close to his heart, whether it was spending quality time as a son, husband, father, grandparent, brother, uncle, or cousin. Preceding Gary in death are his parents, two sisters; Mildred Daniel (Kenneth), Brenda Darden, three brothers; Lt. Commander Bill Perry (Dottie), Frank Corley (Marian), and Henry Corley. In addition, two nieces; Vonnie and Diana Perry, a special sister-in-law, Carolyn Cox; and a favorite great uncle, Willie Patton. 

He leaves to cherish his memory, the light of his life and only child, his daughter, Sheri Corley Neely (Ronny), two granddaughters: Tiffany Neely and Tabatha Bledsoe (Zach), two great granddaughters, Kasynn and Jonsie Bledsoe and a great grandson, Liam Bledsoe. He will also be missed by his former wife and mother of their child, Jaunita Cox Corley Pyle, a very special sister, Myrna Gathright (Bernard) and two brothers, Mervyn Corley (Janice) and David Corley (Judy), and a host of family and friends, including nieces, nephews, and cousins. Along with his close relatives, Gary chose some special friends to be considered as family, those being Darryl Lynn Minor, Ruth Strauch and Lacy Humphreys.

Gary grew up in First Baptist Church, Smackover, Arkansas, which he continues to call his church home. He was a lover of all music, always enjoying country, music from the 1950s and even Rock and Roll, but the gospel genre was his most favorite. Gary enjoyed being involved in his community and was proud to be a supporter of the Smackover Buckaroos and the Arkansas Razorbacks. As a gun collector and a sometimes hunter, Gary was proud to be a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association.

After attending Southern State College, (Southern Arkansas University) and Ouachita Baptist College (Ouachita Baptist University,) Gary realized his real love and passion was in the South Arkansas oil fields. He was right. Gary was well-known in oil field circles beginning in his youth and continuing throughout his life. He began working in the oil field for the family business, Corley Pump and Supply and became an independent oil producer. Growing up surrounded by his father and others who also made a living in the fields of South Arkansas gave Gary a unique opportunity to gain experience and work in a variety of positions in oil field related areas. In his later years, Gary was known as the guy with a “special knack” or “eye” for finding much sought-after oil field equipment and oil production; most called him “the one to call” when searching for anything needed in the South Arkansas fields. His searches began at home and stretched across states when locating equipment and materials for oil producers. Gary was one of those fellas that can be taken out of the oil field, but the oil field could never be taken out of him. As he would say, “It gets in your blood.”

Gary was a man who took much in stride and regularly found a way to create lemonade from lemons. It was Gary’s decision to call Courtyard his new home, and when he moved in, he took the place by storm. Almost immediately, he became known as the Mayor of Courtyard, because he quickly made friends and made a point of being involved in all activities. Gary was up early each day, making his rounds, brightening the day with his jokes, popping in and out of the rooms of friends he had quickly made, was ready for a game of dominoes at moment’s notice and enjoyed playing cards and all types of boardgames. Bingo, a Courtyard favorite, became a lively experience when Gary realized a real rolling cage could spice things up. He made it his mission to make sure a rolling cage was added to Courtyard’s weekly Bingo games. It is still enjoyed by the residents of Courtyard. His care team at Courtyard recall Gary as a lover of coffee, and as the Mayor of Courtyard, arrived at the coffee stand like clockwork, for his two cups of coffee early each morning, at lunch, 2:00 pm and at the time of his nightly meal. They joked, as he was a reliable clock each day!

The family would like to recognize and thank Gary’s physicians and care team:  the late Dr. Richard K. Davis, Sr., Karen Everett, FNP-BC, Dr. Ezinne C. Nwude, and Dr. Lawrence Braden. A special thank you to Courtyard Health and Rehabilitation Center, where he received exemplary care, and especially Gary’s favorites: Phenias, Courtyard’s service dog, a black standard poodle loved by all; Jill Bradshaw, Britini Callaway, Cee Cee Carter, Shemika Dade,  Meredith Grimmett, Evelyn Glosson, Tommy Head, Audwin Hart, Christina Jackson, Reggie Joe, Tasha Livingston, Yashieka Lloyns, Kaye Lewis, Lucy Mooney, Shangria McAlphin, Crystal Newton, Carolyn Orren, Aileen Smith, Debbie Smith, and Tiffany Tatum.  The family also expresses thankfulness for the excellent and constant care given to Gary by Ouachita Medical Center Hospice Home Care, Becky Haynie, their staff and two special nurses, Kelly Parker, RN and Christi Profitt, RN. 

Memorials may be made to one of the following, which were special to Gary.
1)    Smackover High School Class of 1979 Memorial Fund, c/o Smackover High School, One Buckaroo Lane, Smackover, Arkansas 71762
2)    The Joy Sunday School Class of First Baptist Church, c/o Ms. Carolyn Willett, 601 Magnolia Street, Smackover, Arkansas 71762
3)    Ouachita County Medical Center Hospice Home Care, 726 California Avenue, Camden, Arkansas 71701.

The family will receive friends at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 11, 2021, in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Smackover. Funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be at Rest Haven Memorial Gardens.

Pallbearers will be Gary’s nephews:  Jimmy Daniel, Rod Corley, Jeff Corley, Mark Corley, Tim Corley, Randy Darden, Boyd Corley, Mike Corley, and a man who holds a special place in Gary’s heart, Darryl Lynn Minor. 

Condolences may be expressed online at www.youngsfuneralhome.com